Lismore, County Waterford

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Gaelic: Lios Mór
County Waterford
Lismore Castle.jpg
Lismore Castle
Grid reference: X045984
Location: 52°8’12"N, 7°55’51"W
Population: 1,369  (2006)
Post town: Lismore
Postcode: P51
Local Government
Council: Waterford

Lismore is an historic town in the west of County Waterford. It is is located where the N72 road crosses the River Blackwater at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains, the mountain range which divides the counties of Tipperary and Waterford.


Bus transport

Bus services are provided to Dungarvan via Cappoquin including a commuter service. Connections to Waterford and Rosslare Europort can be made at Dungarvan. In the other direction there are services to and from Tallow where connections can be made for Fermoy.[1] On Saturdays a local bus company operate a service to Cork.


Lismore formerly had a rail station on the now-dismantled Waterford to Mallow line and was served by the Cork to Rosslare boat train. The line and station closed in 1967 though the station is still extant.[2]


Founded by Saint Mochuda (died 637, also known as Saint Carthage), the first abbot of Lismore. The town is renowned for its early ecclesiastical history and the scholarship of Lismore Abbey.

The imposing Lismore Castle, situated on the site of the old monastery since mediæval times, lies on a steep hill overlooking the town and the Blackwater valley. It can trace an eight-hundred-year-old history linking the varied historic relations between England and Ireland. Originally built following the arrival of Henry II's son, Prince John, in the twelfth century, the castle was a bishop's palace up to the sixteenth century. Subsequently owned by Sir Walter Raleigh until his demise, it was sold to Richard Boyle, controversial First Earl of Cork, described by historian R. F. Foster, in his Modern Ireland, as an "epitome of Elizabethan adventurer-colonist in Ireland". In 1627 the castle was the birthplace of the First Earl's most famous son, Robert Boyle (of Boyle's Law), known as the "Father of Modern Chemistry". Boyle was chased off his lands in Ireland during the Irish Rebellion of 1641, following which his sons recovered the family estates after suppression of the rebellion. The castle remained in the possession of the Boyle family until it passed to the Dukes of Devonshire in 1753 when the daughter of the 4th Earl of Cork, Lady Charlotte Boyle, married William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, a future Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Book of Lismore, a compilation of mediæval Irish manuscripts mainly relating the lives of Irish saints, notably St Brigid, St Patrick, and St Columba, also contains Acallam na Senórach, a most important Middle Irish narrative dating to the 12th century, pertaining to the Fenian Cycle. The Book of Lismore and the Lismore Crozier (an enclosure for an episcopal staff, believed to be the venerable oaken staff of the founder of the abbey), were discovered together in 1814 behind a blocked-up doorway in Lismore Castle. Today the castle continues in the private ownership of the Dukes of Devonshire who open the gardens and parts of the grounds for public access via a changing programme of local arts and education events. The Book of Lismore is on display at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, and the Lismore Crozier is in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

The mediæval Lismore Cathedral, dedicated to St Carthage, variously damaged and repaired over the centuries, is notable for its architecture and the stained glass window by the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones.

A plaque has been erected in the town to commemorate the regular visits made to Lismore by Fred Astaire following an association developed by his sister, Adele Astaire, who was married to Lord Charles Arthur Francis Cavendish, son of Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire. A notable resident born in the town who has described her early life in Lismore, is the internationally renowned travel writer and world touring cyclist, Dervla Murphy. Another notable resident was George O'Brien award-winning memoirist, writer, and academic, who was raised by his paternal grandmother in Lismore, described in his memoir The Village of Longing: An Irish Boyhood in the Fifties (1987).

Annalistic references

See Annals of Inisfallen.

  • AI701.1 Kl. Repose of Cúánna of Les Mór.
  • AI707.1 Kl. Conodur of Les Mór rested.
  • AI730.1 Kl. Repose of Colmán grandson of Lítán, abbot of Les Mór.
  • AI752.3 Repose of Mac Uige, abbot of Les Mór.
  • AI760.1 Kl. Tríchmech, abbot of Les Mór, rested, and Abnér, abbot of Imlech Ibuir.
  • AI763.1 Kl. Repose of Rónán, bishop of Les Mór.
  • AI768.1 Kl. Aedan, abbot of Les Mór, rested.
  • AI774.2 Suairlech, abbot of Les Mór, [rested].
  • AI778.2 Repose of Airdmesach of Les Mór.
  • AI783.3 Repose of Suairlech Ua Tipraiti in Les Mór.
  • AI794.4 Violation(?) of the Rule of Les Mór in the reign of Aedán Derg.
  • AI814.1 Kl. Repose of Aedán moccu Raichlich, abbot of Les Mór.
  • AI814.2 The abbacy of Les Mór to Flann, son of Fairchellach.
  • AI818.2 The shrine of Mochta of Lugmad in flight before Aed,son of Niall, and it came to Les Mór.
  • AI825.1 Kl. Repose of Flann son of Fairchellach, abbot of Les Mór, Imlech Ibuir, and Corcach.
  • AI833.1 Kl. Les Mór Mo-Chutu and Cell Mo-Laise plundered by the heathens.
  • AI867.1 Kl. Amlaíb committed treachery against Les Mór, and Martan was liberated from him.
  • AI883.1 Kl. The burning of Les Mór by the son of lmar.
  • AI912.1 Kl. Repose of Mael Brigte son of Mael Domnaig, abbot of Les Mór.
  • AI920.1 Kl. The martyrdom of Cormac son of Cuilennán, bishop and vice-abbot of Les Mór, abbot of Cell Mo-Laise,king of the Déisi, and chief counsellor of Mumu, at the hands of the Uí Fhothaid Aiched.
  • AI938.1 Kl. Repose of Ciarán son of Ciarmacán, abbot of Les Mór Mo-Chutu.
  • AI947.1 Kl. A leaf [descended] from heaven upon the altar of Imlech Ibuir, and a bird spoke to the people; and many other marvels this year; and Blácair, king of the foreigners, was killed.
  • AI953.2 Repose of Diarmait, abbot of Les Mór.
  • AI954.3 Diarmait son of Torpaid, abbot of Les Mór, [rested].
  • AI958.3 Repose of Cinaed Ua Con Minn, bishop of Les Mór and Inis Cathaig.
  • AI959.2 Repose of Maenach son of Cormac, abbot of Les Mór.
  • AI983.3 Repose of Cormac son of Mael Ciarain, abbot of Les Mór.
  • AI1024.3 Repose of Ua Maíl Shluaig, coarb of Mo-Chutu.



The following people were born in Lismore.

  • Robert Boyle (born 1627, died 1691) - Famous physicist and chemist.
  • William Henry Grattan Flood (born 1859, died 1928 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford) - Noted author, composer, musicologist and historian.
  • Dervla Murphy (born 1931) - Travel writer.


Outside links

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about Lismore, County Waterford)